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Bunnies & Easter Don't Mix? Says Who?

Every year around Easter we start to see the campaigns, Easter and Rabbits Donít Mix, or if your going to get an easter bunny Make Mine Chocolate. These campaigns are well intentioned. Every year a couple of months after Easter, rescues are flooded with unwanted bunnies purchased at Easter. In fact a local Tractor Supply called our rabbitry and asked that we help supply them with bunnies.

These campaigns include alot of misinformation. One of their top examples is that rabbits are a poor pet for children. Our youngest daughter has been breeding rabbits since she was 7. She has been responsible for their care, feeding, cage cleaning, etc. Yes, she has been scratched a couple of times. Her kits though are some of the most lovable rabbits you could meet. She handles them constantly.

One of the main reasons rabbits scratch is that they feel insecure in the handlers arms. If children are taught to handle the rabbit correctly, they are much less likely to be scratched. When we have someone visit our rabbitry, we take a lot of time explaining to children how to pick up a bunny. We are very hands on with them. By the time they leave our rabbitry they have a greater understanding and much more confidence in handling their rabbit. The children are not likely to get this type of training at a pet store.

Another misleading fact is that rabbits are as much work as a dog. We have two dogs, a lab and a schitzu. Both dogs must be bathed regularly. Generally you dont need to bathe a bunny. Yes, bunnies do molt, but have you ever seen how much a lab sheds? Theres no comparison. Do we groom our bunnies, yes, but have you ever had to groom a schitzu? We have to cut our schitzus hair, we dont have to do that with our rabbits. Cleaning up those big land mines the lab left in the yard is a lot more work than cleaning a litter tray or pan for your rabbit. There are many similarities. Both dogs and rabbits, must have food and water on a daily basis. They need attention from their care takers. They both should have time to run around. Dogs are more work than rabbits. However, as a breeder, we make it clear to those interested in purchasing our bunnies that they do need daily care.

We have also seen comments that bunnies must be housed indoors. Maybe Iím missing something, but it seems more natural that a bunny be housed outdoors. We have very few bunnies outdoors at our rabitry, however, we make sure they have all the proper provisions to sustain them during inclement weather, but none the less they do well outdoors. Again, the key here is to educate those purchasing our rabbits. They probably wonít get educated in proper housing at a pet store. Consumers will hear about the cages the pet store has in stock without an understanding of proper housing.

We also express to all prospective purchasers that bunnies are a long term commitment. Bunnies often live as long as 10 years or more. If you decide that you donít want your bunny after a couple of months, you will still have a responsiblity for its care for a long time.

Prospective pet owners, should understand the commitment and daily care needed for a bunny. You can probably understand why it is unlikely we will sell our rabbits to many pet stores. They do not have the knowledge to properly educate consumers regarding rabbits. Properly educating purchasers of rabbits from our rabbitry is a high priority. The time of year makes no difference to us. This is why Easter and Rabbits can be mixed together at our rabbitry.

Submitted by:

Rob Usakowski

Rob Usakowski is owner of Three Little Ladies Rabbitry which is run by his wife Cathie and their three daughters. Visit their site http://www.threelittleladiesrabbitry.com for lots of rabbit raising information for both pet owners and breeders alike.




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